Har Gopal suggests release of Maoist leader''s close aide

Posted By: Pti
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Bhubaneswar, Feb 18 (PTI) Social scientist Har Gopal,chosen by Orissa government to negotiate with abductors forthe release of Malkangiri collector and a junior engineer,today asked for extension of the deadline set by the ultrasand release of a close aide of top Maoist leader Ramakrishna.

"I have suggested Orissa Home Secretary U N Behera toconsider release of Ganti Prasad as he will be helpful inreleasing the young IAS officer and the junior engineer," hetold PTI over phone.

It would not be difficult to release Ganti Prasad asthere was no serious case against him in Orissa, Har Gopalsaid, adding that he gave the suggestion as it was sought byBehera to ensure release of 30 year-old district collectorR V Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi.

Har Gopal, who is a teacher of Hyderabad University,also called upon Maoists to extend 48 hour deadline of theabductors to release the two men abducted from Chitrakondaarea on Wednesday evening.

Ganti Prasad of Srikalulam division was arrested byOrissa police in November last year on charges of supplyingitems to Maoist leader Ramakrishna, who stayed in jungles ofNarayanpatna in Orissa''s Koraput district.

He had supplied some items to Padma, wife of Ramakrishnato hand them over to her husband. Though there were severalcases against him in Andhra Pradesh, Prasad was on bail fromthe high court, he said.

"I am sure Ganti Prasad will facilitate the earlyrelease of Krishna and Majhi .... However, right now I do notexactly know what the Maoists want," Prof Har Gopal said.

He also suggested the Orissa government to consider thesecond condition of abductors on the release of tribals. PTIAAM KK

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